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A Look Back at 2016


Real change always starts on the ground. For it needs to be rooted in an understanding of what people face in their daily lives and of the actual barriers, which prevent them from reaching their potential.

Today, more than ever, the Y's mission of service continues to be executed on the ground, in the neighborhoods where people look to us for support in their efforts to improve their lives. Some of our neighbors struggle mightily against forces, which we grasp and appreciate more deeply by our work on the ground. And, by our engagement together in these tough places, our safe physical space can act as a vibrant hub that teaches and models tolerance in environments, which are rich in diversity and potential. From this work can spring the strongest, healthiest-and actually most enlightened-elements of our society; as, we often see, true character is forged from adversity. 

So our goal is clear: to do our small part, with great love, to give each person in our community the opportunity to be healthy, secure, informed, connected, creative and compassionate.

Our call is to continue being the dreamers that we are and to act in service of our dreams, creating change, and taking steps toward empowerment and cohesiveness. This year, our call to action is to redouble our values and deepen our commitment to respect all people and to build bridges instead of walls. We embrace all of the variations by which people are born into this world, and all of the ways in which we can create a positive, nurturing space for self-expression and human potential.

So today, as you set out on your path, just look into the eyes of everyone you see, and speak a language of love, compassion and humanity. Work for the common good and nourish the common ground. Keep on lighting the path, showing love to all humankind and building bridges. That's the only way forward.